Thursday, 30 August 2007

SFL Proud to be Union on Labour Day

SFL Proud to be Union on Labour Day

More than 130 years ago, Labour Day was created to honour the Ontario demonstrations of 1872. Marchers from 27 unions took to the streets and demanded that their brothers from the Toronto typographical union, who had struck for a nine-hour workday, be released from prison. Thousands of citizens flocked to the protests in support of the right to legally belong to a union.

And the workers won.

Unions have come a long way from that groundbreaking victory.

This Labour Day, the labour movement in Saskatchewan will celebrate another victory, as we continue to fight for the rights of working people.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour recently led a successful campaign to stop the provincial government from signing the Trade, Investment, and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA).

“Union history is the story of the struggle for strong labour standards and workers’ rights, for medicare, for public ownership of utilities, for a more equitable sharing of our collective resources. TILMA would seek to wipe out those historical gains,” says SFL President Larry Hubich.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour demanded public consultations on TILMA, and those hearings took place in June. The Standing Committee on the Economy heard from dozens of unions and social activists, who made the case that TILMA takes away government’s ability to govern in the public interest.

Presenters asked serious questions about the kinds of values that a corporate, profit-driven economic agreement like TILMA promotes, arguing that TILMA puts the ‘bottom line’ and corporate profits above the needs of workers and their families.

“We convinced not only the Provincial Government, but also those in Opposition, that trade deals like TILMA do not belong in a province like Saskatchewan, with its rich history of social democracy. Workers and their families want secure, decent jobs. Our laws, policies and programs should not be at the mercy of big business interests, “ says Hubich.

This Labour Day, the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour re-commits to the struggle against right-wing policies and agendas, including the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), the latest North American trade scheme.

“The SPP is being negotiated in secret by our federal government, and with the ‘help’ of the richest corporate CEOs. Canada’s water, energy supply, medicare, and much more, will be sold off or dismantled if the SPP succeeds. We will expose this process as undemocratic and as a threat to our values,” adds Hubich.

The 36 affiliated unions of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, representing over 93,500 workers in this province are proud to be union this Labour Day. The SFL wishes all Saskatchewan citizens a safe and enjoyable Labour Day weekend. Join us as we celebrate our successes in building an equitable and just society.


Anonymous said...

Great message.
I hope that someday my union can join other members in the house of labour in these celebrations as full participants and as affiliates to the CLC and Federations of Labour across this country.
Thanks for your leadership all through the year and for your constant efforts to get folks active.

Larry Hubich said...

Thank you, Malcolm.


Anonymous said...

As usual, great article Larry! Awesome labour day message!